In the Albany Herald, Cal Thomas analyzes the speech Senator Marco Rubio gave in Iowa this past week. Much of what was said by the young senator was very encouraging. He spoke of how conservatism finds it home in the GOP, but the party is not necessarily synonymous with the movement:
Rubio also seemed to suggest that conservatism is larger than the Republican brand, which has become tainted in some minds. He said, “This is not about the Republican Party. This is about limited government conservatism.” While he said the Republican Party “is the home of that movement,” he seemed to suggest that it is not necessarily its permanent residence.
As discussed in other posts on this blog, Senator Rubio displayed his ever-improving skill at re-characterization of the day’s principal issues. Recognizing the tremendous downward pressure this ailing economy has on the middle class, Senator Rubio said:
“The way to turn our economy around is not by making rich people poorer. It’s by making poor people richer.”
Cal Thomas points out that “[i]n this, he resembled Reagan’s favorite president, Calvin Coolidge, who said, “Don’t expect to build up the weak by pulling down the strong.”
And what about those pesky social issues that many liberals claim have crippled the conservative movement in the face of an every decaying moral society? Shall those positions be discarded? How about this for an analysis:
Some Republicans are again suggesting the party would perform better if it divorced itself from social conservatives and their issues. Rubio addressed that directly and rejected it: “The breakdown of the American family has a direct impact on our economic well-being. The social and moral well-being of (our) people is directly linked to their economic well-being. You can’t separate the two.”
While praising “heroic” single mothers, Rubio said, “They would be the first to tell you how difficult it is.” He added, “A two-parent home gives kids advantages,” and he said “the great gift my parents gave me” was staying together and loving him and his siblings.
Rubio was not judgmental, but merely appealed to a higher standard. He is not the angry moralist putting others down. He is a political evangelist showing there is a better way. The difference is subtle, but it is in contrast to Mitt Romney’s remark about a nation in which 47 percent are “takers.”
Time and time again, Senator Rubio is able to re-frame the argument. He’s at his best when turning conservative stereotypes on their head by explaining principles with clarity (and with a smile). The left knows this all too well, hence they’re working overtime now to make Senator Rubio appear “crazy:”